India is witnessing the dawn of a new era in the education sector with all major players recognizing the widespread presence of the internet giving way to a whole new avenue referred to as virtual learning. The new emerging industry has bifurcated itself into many sub-sector based on the customers (mainly students) that they cater to.
Pariksha, founded in 2015 by Karanvir Singh, Utkarsh Bagri, Vikram Shekhawat, and Deepak Chaudhary, started as a vernacular test preparation company expanding its business operation into online teaching and the latest development of placement programs.
For the interview, we had Mr. Karanvir Singh who has been part of the startup ecosystem for a while and has worked in a few startups earlier before bringing his expertise into Pariksha along with his co-founders.
Mukul: Tell us a bit about Pariksha?
Karanvir: Pariksha is an education technology company operating in the test preparation segment focusing mainly on state government job exams in their respective vernacular languages ranging from job exams for a peon to the highest possible administrative position in that state government. Today we operate in 11 states, offering 6 languages.
Mukul: Where did the idea behind Pariksha come from?
Karanvir: It was an accidental discovery. One of the co-founders was attending a wedding ceremony in Madhya Pradesh where every second person he met was giving the ‘Patwari’ exam. This deeply intrigued him and after discussing the possibilities, we conducted research and concluded that a huge market existed without being addressed by any current Edtech.
Mukul: What are the problems that Pariksha wishes to resolve?
Karanvir: The two large problems that Pariksha is trying to solve are affordability and accessibility. Over 75 Million aspirants prepare for state government exams and only 10 % can afford or access proper coaching services. We intend to remove the opportunity as well as accessibility cost by providing experience on hand-held devices rivaling those provided by the finest coaching institutes so that everyone is provided an equal opportunity to materialize their dreams.
Mukul: What kind of services does Pariksha offer to the students?
Karanvir: We believe preparation for any competitive exam is done in three phases learning, practice, and assessment. At Pariksha we provide live scheduled classes and on-demand video lectures for learning, a robust database of test papers for practice and we conduct mock test series at the state level to help the student assess themselves along with online mentoring and doubt solving services.
Mukul: Who was your first client and how did you secure them?
Karanvir: Our first client was IIT Kanpur. We were extremely fortunate that two of our co-founder were from IIT Kanpur and the training and placement cell being impressed by their work approached us and we discussed the opportunity of having an IIT as the first user of our platform.
Mukul: How does Pariksha differentiate itself from its competitors in the market?
Karanvir: The test preparation segment has three major sectors in India namely, Entrance exams, Central government jobs exams, and State government jobs exams. The earlier two have seen greater investment and somewhat saturation, but the later in which we operate is a very niche category with over 95% plus aspirants opting to give these exams in their vernacular language.
Mukul: Can you tell us something about the Placement program offered by Pariksha?
Karanvir: It has been part of our journey as our other business line in which we offer our services to all the top-tier engineering colleges including IITs, where they use our platform for conducting campus placement programs.
Mukul: Maintaining such a huge platform and growing it into something bigger requires a considerable amount of investment, what do you have in mind regarding the funding status of Pariksha in near future?
Karanvir: I believe raising funds is a continuous process. I consider ourselves lucky that we came across investors (from all over the globe) who believed in our business. Currently, we are looking at closing a $10 Million round with commitments from Tier 1 capital investors already received for some part of it. I will not be able to disclose any further details regarding the investors as of now.
Mukul: How did the current Pandemic effect Pariksha?
Karanvir: I believe humanity is going through the worst crisis that nobody was prepared for. However, it has forced people to change their mindset. Earlier people who were skeptical about virtual learning are now excited about it. They, along with educational organizations, now understand that online technology has the power to make the learning process more conducive and accessible to a far larger population as compared to the old learning regime.
Mukul: What plans do you have for the future of Pariksha?
Karanvir: I think we will tremendously change the market and Pariksha will not be limited to just India or just state government exams. We broke even in May of 2020 and we have some innovative products in our pipeline. We do not plan to restrict ourselves to a certain geography or a market.
Watch the full interview here:
We try our best to fact check and bring the best, well-researched and non-plagiarized content to you. Please let us know
–if there are any discrepancies in any of our published stories,
-how we can improve,
-what stories you would like us to cover and what information you are looking for, in the comments section below or through our contact form! We look forward to your feedback and thank you for stopping by!